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AFB Solutions Forum
October 2001

Survey of Production and Acquisition of Textbooks and Instructional Materials:

Below are the action steps/issues that were identified from the analysis of the national survey dealing with production and acquisition of textbooks and instructional materials. The national survey was conducted in the spring of 2000 by AFB. The results were announced at the October 2000 AFB Solutions Forum meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. The following action steps/major impressions were identified and prioritized during the March 15, 2001 meeting held in Washington, D.C. Each participant was asked to rank his/her top three action steps that needed to be addressed immediately to complement the purpose of the survey. The number by each action step reflects the number of people who chose that specific issue.

For the complete results of the survey, go to www.afb.org/education.asp .

The work group will be developing an action plan addressing many of these issues.

Suggested action steps:

  • Work with hardware/software developers for automated production of tactile graphics. 31
  • Advocate for the development of a new career as a braille transcriber and document existing programs in development. 19
  • Support passage of national legislation--Instructional Materials Accessibility Act of 2002. 14
  • Facilitate the creation of centralized ordering and distribution centers for each state. 11
  • Advocate for the development of a universal braille embossing utility for Windows for printing ready-to-braille files. 10
  • Explore/document alternatives for the production of daily work when no braille transcriber is available. 5
  • Develop a training package for teachers in regular education for braille and assistive technology. 4
  • Explore a better system of braille production (states are duplicating efforts).  4
  • Support a study that investigates the extent to which teachers are requesting materials in alternative media that reflect the learning media and assessed needs of their students (including assistive technology). 3
  • Advocate for the creation of small production facility in each state for creation of short run/use materials. 2
  • Compile a list of questions (certifications, textbook format) to ask transcribers to ensure quality braille production. 2
  • Provide training in the process of using XML to produce braille (NOTE: Moved to training group). 2
  • Identify sources for states that do not have the capability of producing textbooks and instructional materials. 1
  • Make a distinction between production and distribution in a state. 0
  • Develop a centrally located place to list accessible tests and where to order them (the American Printing House for the Blind has the LOUIS Database). 0